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A landmark in children's literature, winner of the 1970 Newbery Medal and the basis of an acclaimed film, Sounder traces the keen sorrow and the abiding faith of a poor African-American boy in the 19th-century South.

Curriculet Details
30 Questions
16 Annotations
8 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining life in the South, education for African American sharecroppers, and family traditions. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about figurative language and narrative voice. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of family, hard work, and freedom. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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A coonhound is a type of hunting dog, highly prized for its amazing sense of smell.  (This annotation contains an image)
Persimmon is a type of fruiting tree common in the American South. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is not a sign that this story does not take place in present day? 
The author is trying to make a comparison here using figurative language. Need a review of figurative language? Watch the video below.  (This annotation contains a video)
As it is used in this sentence, the word "addled" most nearly means 
The boy's mother is probably telling him about the flood from the Bible when Noah and his family built an ark to survive the flood.  
What do we learn about this family and their financial situation through the boy's thoughts on food? 
Here, the author is using the _________ of the story to set the mood. 
Chapter One Quiz 


What kind of figurative language is being used in this sentence? 
Years ago, prisoners wore black and white stripes so that their situation was obvious to anyone who saw them from a distance.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do the police tell the boy to get the dog out of the way? 
Who is the narrator of this story? If you need a brush up on point of view for a narrator, watch the video below.  (This annotation contains a video)
How is the boy able to forget his physical pain so easily? 
The boy takes Sounder's ear back to the house to sell so he can pay his father's bail. 
Chapter Two Quiz 


Why would people be mean to the boy's mother when she goes into town? 
If the boy has never seen foam, how is he able to envision what it looks and feels like? 
The boy can't see all the parts of the under area. He is going to have to crawl around until he finds Sounder. This is building tension, which you can learn more about from the video below.  (This annotation contains a video)
From context clues surrounding the word "rivulet," we can say that the word means the same as little streams of water. 
Chapter Three Quiz 


What solution does the boy's mother offer up when she hears the news that Sounder is not under the house? 
The story of Shadrach, Meschah, and Abed-nego comes from the book of Daniel in the Bible.  (This annotation contains a video)
The boy says he doesn't like the noisy wind. Who else dislikes the winds?  
What does the boy's mother mean when she says not to "grieve" the father? 
Mistletoe and red berries are popular in Christmas decorations. This is another plan for the father to make money, but it never seems to be enough.  (This annotation contains an image)
We can see from this paragraph that the boy hopes that the people in town will talk to him.  
Again, we hear about the boy's desire to read. What kinds of things would have to happen for him to get his dream? Let's keep reading and see if he achieves this dream. 
Here, we begin to see a change in the boy's desires. He shows the reader that he doesn't like feeling helpless and longs to change this part of his life as well. Let's treat the idea of being helpless as one of the themes in the book and see if there is a solution by the end. 
The author uses these words to help us picture a man who is  
Why is the boy unable to finish this sentence? 
Chapter Four Quiz 


What kind of figurative language is used in this sentence? 
Chain gangs were popular as a way to control convicted criminals in the post-slavery south, and a few attempts to resurrect the idea of a chain gang have reappeared throughout our history. (This annotation contains a video)
The boy feels more comfortable around his mother when she 
As it is used in this sentence, the word "fret" most nearly means  
Chapter Five Quiz 


What does the boy use to support his ideas about going to hunt for his father? 
Peter's escape from jail is yet another Biblical reference referring to jailing and release. (This annotation contains a video)
Explain what kind of figurative language the author is using here and what it means. 
Chapter Six Quiz 


What is the compulsion that the boy's mother understands? 
How does the boy know his father is not one of the prisoners here? 
The children are playing in a cistern, which is a place where rain water collects. But we probably could have figured that out using some context clues.  
Why would the school day have to end once the pig shows up?  
What do Montaigne and the boy have in common? 
Chapter Seven Quiz 


The word "hobbling" here could be replaced with the word  
Dog days is another way to say a heat spell. It is often used to refer to the hottest time of the year.  (This annotation contains a link)
When the mother mentions that Sounder has been restless for three days, this builds tension in the story. 
What kind of context clues can you use to determine the meaning of the word askew? 
What lifts the father's spirits? 
Is the story about the flower a simile or metaphor?  (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter Eight Quiz